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You’re A Real Prince, You Know That?

, , , , , , | Working | June 24, 2022

My wife and I are with some friends at a local bookstore’s trivia night. It’s been fun, but the emcee running the game has made some… odd choices. The one I remember best is this.

Emcee: “Okay, last question, three points. What song by Prince shares its name with a number?”

My team confers quietly, and we answer, “1999,” which is the full title of the song you’ve probably heard of. Later, the emcee is reviewing the responses out loud.

Emcee: “And the answer to the last question… is Seven.”

Me: “What about 1999?”

Emcee: “Nope, sorry, it’s Seven.”

Me: “But 1999 is also a Prince song that shares its name with a number.”

Emcee: “Yeah, but it doesn’t count because it’s not the one I was thinking of.”

We didn’t go back.

At Least He’s In A Museum?

, , , , , , | Right | May 22, 2022

I am giving a tour to a small group at a history museum, specifically military history. I am explaining a few interesting facts about the Revolutionary War when one of the guests says:

Guest: “Woohoo! U…S…A! Victory!”

Me: “Haha, yes, sir. The Revolutionary War did end in a victory for the USA.”

Guest: “Like they all do!”

Me: “Well… that’s not entirely true.”

Guest: “Nuh-uh! America wins every war it’s in!”

Me: “Sir, I recommend you visit the south pavilion after this tour. You might find what it says about the Vietnam War very enlightening.”

Guest: “Woohoo! Another victory!”

Other Guest: *Having had enough* “Dude… who’s in charge in Afghanistan right now?!”

We Can See The Tables Turning

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2022

It is 2012, and I am heading downtown with a good buddy. He is blind — obviously so, as he uses a red and white cane. He has told me before that he often gets stopped by religious folks who want to pray over him, but I have never seen this happen until now.

We are waiting for the train, and he is standing next to me, holding his cane with one hand and lightly touching my elbow with the other.

I see a stranger who is apparently making a beeline for us. He is neatly dressed in a suit and is wearing a very large wooden cross.

Stranger: “Oh, you poor, poor boy!”

He suddenly reaches out without warning and puts both hands on my friend’s head.

Stranger: “Oh, Lord! See this poor blind boy! I implore you to heal him and give him sight so that he might see the glory of your creation, in Jesus’ name, amen!”

He pauses, obviously waiting for an “amen” or something from us. I am flabbergasted at this whole situation.

My friend lets go of my elbow, reaches out, and grabs the stranger’s coat sleeve.

Friend: *Shouting* “Oh, Lord, see this pushy, obnoxious a**hole who thinks he knows better than anyone! So what if I am blind? You made me that way! This jerk didn’t even bother asking if I wanted to be healed! He just assumed! Oh, Lord, I implore you to smite him, so that he might learn the error of his ways!”

I am dying laughing. The stranger looks a mixture of furiously embarrassed and massively pissed off. The people standing around us are also pointing and laughing. The stranger yanks his sleeve out of my friend’s grip and runs off. There is a smattering of applause.

Friend: *To me* “That kind of stuff used to really embarrass me and piss me off, and I didn’t know what to do about it. Then, I realized that it was way more fun to try and turn the tables and embarrass them.”

There’s a long pause.

Friend: “I am not religious, by the way. It just seems to work better if I pretend that I am. I figure that eventually, word will get around and they will leave me alone.”

Being Relatively Unhelpful

, , , , , , | Working | February 17, 2022

I have worked at the company for a little under twenty years. While I did start as a secretary, I have moved up to a commercial project manager and designer. However, due to how small our company is, I still answer the phones as a secretary. The owner/president will also be a secretary sometimes.

My boss, the owner, has told me to screen all calls to him early on. This is due to the company name being the same as his name, so everyone asks for my boss. This is so he doesn’t get scams or junk calls.

Me: “Hello, [Company] Office. How may I help you?

Caller: “Yes, I like to speak to Mr. [Boss], please.”

Me: “Sure, but first, could I take down some information on the purpose of the call?”

Caller: “Just tell him [Caller] is on the phone.”

We have at least three other clients with that name; however, I have never heard this voice before.

Me: “I’m sorry, I need more information as we have others with the same name. What type of job is this in reference to?”

Caller: “Just tell him that [Caller] is on the phone. He knows who I am.”

At this point, I think he is a scammer as this is a very common way to get past me.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we have at least three other clients at our office with the same name. I would need a job number or name of the job site.”

Caller: “The job number is 123456. Just tell him [Caller] is on the phone.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but without the information, I cannot pass you over to him.”

Caller: “So, I can’t speak to him? I need to talk with him. This is urgent.”

He is starting to get angry at me.

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t speak to him.”

At this point, because he hasn’t given me anything, I refuse to let him speak to my boss. This goes on for another minute before he gets the message.

Caller: “Fine. Bye.” 

He hangs up the phone. I think nothing of it until a week later when my boss comes over to me. 

Boss: “Did a [Caller] call?”

Me: “Maybe? Which one?”

Boss: “[Caller’s Full Name].”

Me: “That name doesn’t ring a bell.”

Boss: “Well, [Caller] is my sister-in-law’s husband. He said he tried to call the office to say that his wife is in the hospital. He spoke to you and said you were nasty to him and didn’t let him talk to me.”

I explain what happened and how [Caller] refused to say anything other than his name.

Boss: “Don’t worry too much about it. You did what I pay you to do.”

Me: “If he said he was a relative, then you know I would let the phone go right to you.”

My boss admitted that his relative most likely didn’t give enough information to pass him through as he is blunt and to the point.

The Waiter Is Unsweet, Too

, , , , | Working | February 9, 2022

I live in the big city now, but I’m originally from the deep south of the USA. Even after several years, I still have a bit of my southern drawl. My mother and her best friend have come to visit me in the city, and their drawls are even heavier since they still live back home. I decide to take them to one of my favorite restaurants in the city for brunch. I don’t know at the time that it’s come under new ownership with an almost completely new staff.

Waiter: “And what will you be having to drink?”

Mother: “Just tea for me, thanks.”

Friend: “Same thing for me, too.”

I know they both only drink unsweet tea and add the sugar substitute. I also know the restaurant has a list of hot teas along with their coffees. So, I turn to the waiter and add:

Me: “Oh, the both of them want iced, unsweet tea, please.”

The waiter gives me an unnecessarily judgmental look and scoffs.

Waiter: “This is [City]; we only have unsweet tea.”

First of all, um, no. I’ve definitely found sweet tea in [City], thanks. Second of all, your own menu has, like, seven types of tea on it! And third of all, thanks for just assuming that I haven’t lived here for seven years just because I have an accent.

The food ended up not being as good as it used to be anyway, so between declining quality and condescending waiters, I haven’t been back since.